Christmas for the Kitchen – a Panini is Born

After a long Christmas Weekend I was looking forward to trying out some new toys for my first dinner at home in 4 nights! This year Santa brought me a Cuisinart Panini Press (calling him Art), a new pairing knife, a small mandolin slicer, bee wine glasses and wine! All will be featured in tonight’s meal… a Panini is Born.


 

Like any good sandwich, it’s all about the ingredients, I decided on Cracked Wheat Sourdough (camera shy behind the obnoxiously big jar-o-mayo), Mayo (hard to miss), Dijon Mustard, Blueberry Jam (from Maine, thanks Mom!), Wild Arug, Green Apple, Red Onion, Yellow Bell Pepper (late to the party, still in Fridge), and Havarti Cheese! As always assisted by wine (hello bee glass!)

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The little red manolin might be my favorite of these gifts, so so easy to use and it adjusts to a few different thickness… and the result? Perfect paper thin ingredients, I was speechless and ecstatic. Mostly speechless because it’d be a whole new kinda problem if I started talking to myself while I cooked, especially after only one glass of wine… I’m no lightweight.

I think I would eat anything if were sliced so beautifully! I highly recommend this little toy, made quick work of all these ingredients, which would have been a pain in the ass and two lost fingers to look like this.

Next a little assembly! Slideshow anyone?

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To finish it off I shoved a handful of Arug in there and closed it quickly… Arug can be a little unruly sometimes, so I had no free hand for the picture.  Now I switched on the ‘Art’ the Press, and wiped off the grates once it heated up because this was it’s first use and it smelled a little funky. Then I lightly drizzled on some garlic olive oil, if you have one and your fancy you can brush it on, it will give it a good toast.

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Well here goes nothing! Can’t be too hard right?

I carefully set my creation in Art when he was ready, and carefully closed his lid. It’s suppose to swing on the hinges so it pressed down flat on the top, but I think it’s a little stiff. Or I should actually read the directions.

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Green is good right? I gave it a few more presses then when all the cheese was sizzling and melting I pulled it out.

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Not exactly picture perfect, but definitely edible!

It was pretty good, but could have been better. I think I might use a different cheese next time and a few more fillings, maybe a caprese- pesto type creation? Always fun to experiment, especially with only myself to impress.

Merry Christmas and Happy Creating! See you in the new year! ~M  

 

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